Intercession and Pride

Intercession for others often leads to pride for me. I go through a list of their problems and eventually get around to saying something like “and this is what they need, how they can’t see this I have no idea. But I can, so do this to them. That’s what they need.”

This is nothing short of pride and self-righteousness

1 Timothy 2:1 tells us that intercession should be made for all men, I assume this means we should do it.

At the same time, Romans 8 tells us we don’t know how to pray as we ought and the Spirit makes intercession for all the saints according to the will of God. I trust Him more.

However, 1 Timothy 2:1 says to do it. Perhaps the answer is to know what the word actually means.

The Greek word is only used two times in Scripture (1 Timothy 2:1 and 4:5 where it’s translated prayer). The verb, to intercede, means to fall in with someone, to draw near so you can talk freely. Vincent Word Studies says:

Thus in Romans 8:26 it is not that the Spirit pleads in our behalf, but that he throws himself into our case; takes part in it. So Hebrews 7:25 not that Jesus is ever interceding for us, but that he is eternally meeting us at every point, and intervening in all our affairs for our benefit.

Intercession does not mean going through a list of troubled people and going off on them to God, knowing what they need, hoping they will get as smart as you to see what their problem really is.

Intercession for people is meeting with them, talking with them, being there with them. It’s much more than thinking of them in prayer: DO SOMETHING FOR THEM. I think you could sum it up with: love your neighbor.

If intercession is something you do that leads you to pride, you’re not doing intercession. When it’s done right it leads to a peaceable, godly life.